An estimated 62% of the designated beneficiaries earmarked for Saturday were administered the COVID-19 vaccine, the Karnataka government said, as the first phase of the vaccination drive began in the state. The exercise began at 243 sites across the state, including 10 in Bengaluru and the number of sites is said to “exponentially” raise from Monday.
“Today the vaccination drive began at around 11:30 am instead of 9am due to the PM’s programme, and ended at 5 pm. On the first day 62% have undergone vaccination voluntarily till 4pm, it was promising and a happy thing,” Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
“Highest 84% vaccination was in Kodagu district, second is Uttara Kannada with 80 %. The least is Dakshina Kannada with only 37%. Of the targeted 600 people, only 223 were vaccinated… reason is not known..people there are educated,I appeal to them,” Dr Sudhakar added.
In Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike limits it was 65% and 53% in Bengaluru urban, he said, adding that as per observation big facilities or places have seen less turnout, while small centres or places have more turnout.
Speaking to reporters, he said 21,658 people were earmarked for vaccination on the first day, of whom 13,408 have been vaccinated.
“No serious complications or side effects was reported from anywhere.A few people had slight pain or swelling at the spot where they were injected, but it was fine without any treatment in 30 minutes time, and they have left for home,” he said, adding that both Covishield and Covaxin administered.
The health department said Covishield was being administered in 237 centres and Covaxin in six centres in Ballari, Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chamarajnagar and Davanegere.
Expressing confidence that more people will get vaccinated in the coming days, the Minister said vaccination would be done at more sites from Monday in a full fledged way, as it was Sunday tomorrow.
Some private hospitals who did not start the drive today would join from Sunday, he said.
The Minister noted that 7,43,000 people have been identified for the vaccination in the first phase and about 8 lakh doses of vaccine have been received. Dr Sudhakar said the Karnataka government has requested the centre to provide an additional eight lakh doses of vaccine.
Nagaratna K (28), a ward attendant at Victoria Hospital, was the first to receive the shot in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, among others, at Bangalore Medical College, soon after PM Narendra Modi launched the drive nationally through video conferencing.
Yediyurappa and other dignitaries greeted Nagaratna, who hails from a village near Bidadi, with rose flowers after she received the vaccine.
“….no one needs to worry or fear about the vaccine, and we should be proud that they are produced in the country,” Yediyurappa said.
Asked when he will take the vaccine, the 77-year-old CM “Whenever they ask me to take,at that time I’m going to take,” he said.
Several doctors and health experts, including noted nephrologist and chairman of Manipal Hospitals Sudarshan Ballal, Dr M K Sudarshan, Chairman of the Karnataka government’s COVID-19 technical advisory committee and Dr V Ravi, former HOD, Department of Neurovirology at NIMHANS also got vaccinated.